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Mr. Wallace 18, Colson 5, Mr. Colson 5, John Yates 4, Paul 3, Olympics 2, Honolulu 2, Vermont 2, Stowe 2, New York 2, David Cameron 2, Canberra 1, Kcet Los Angeles 1, Westminster 1, Union Bank 1, Scotland 1, Africa 1, Washington 1, Rebekah Brooks 1, Mr. Yates 1,
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  WHUT    BBC World News    News/Business.  
   International issues. (CC) (Stereo)  

    July 19, 2011
    7:00 - 7:30am EDT  

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>> this is bbc world news. funding for this presentation is the freeman by foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. pneumonia. and union bank. >> union bank has put its global expertise to work for a wide
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range of companies. what can we do for you? >> and now, bbc world news. >> let the inquisition begin. british f the parliament will have public hearings into the phone hacking scandal. welcome to westminster. the metropolitan police commissioner resigned amid allegations of corruption. the metropolitan police's director of public affairs will also be questioned by the public's complaints commission investigating his connections. and rupert murdoch his son james and rebekah brooks are preparing for a grilling by m.p.'s in about a half hour's time. >> it is 7:00 a.m. in washington
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and 9:00 p.m. a canberra and midday here at westminster where he air is abuzz with expectation. in a few minutes two figures in the british police are about to face a grilling from m. pfpp.'s known as john yates a long-time controversial figure emergency the premises. it has been two weeks of absolute turbulence and crisis for the political elite here, for the press and for the police. some say it is overblown, some saying where are we going next, some saying is the prime minister himself under threat. he is in africa on a trade been n, a trip he has criticized for making and has had to cut short. he is extending the british by one day so he can come back and face questions about his links with the murdoch empire. first up, in the next few minutes we will be focused on the police and what were their
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links with news international. the committee is made up of a cross party selection of members of parliament and has responsibility over policing. the committee will be questioning the metropolitan police commissioner sir paul season son who resigned and top counterterrorism officer john yates who resigned yesterday over the controversial police investigations. they are expected to be quizzed over why the investigations into allegations of phone hacking failed and to be questioned over whether members of the met took bribes. there's been a lot of shock at what happened but happens the more long-term damage could be to the police. because in this country we pride ourselves on being corruption free and yet if the police can't with the olympics next year and so on and the head of the met and head of the
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antiterrorism unit resigning within 24 hours huge political crisis. >> yes and that was underlined when the home secretary appeared the house of commons yesterday. she was using words about corruption and nepotism. very unusual words to be using in that. a sense there needs to be a way of shoring up public confidence in the police. as you mentioned, it is a very big year ahead for them. been paul season son has regarded as a tremendous trusted figure, yet he was seemed to have had minor offenses. >> he would say he has done nothing wrong but the problem for him and his deputy is this sort of growing perception that scotland yards had a cozy relationship with news international. both men are hoping when the inquiry happens they are vend indicated. but it was pretty clear
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yesterday and the day before that the politicians, their patience snapped with the police because they felt they had not been given the true picture of links between news international and the police. >> and sir paul season son and his resignation made a very barbed reference to the prime minister. how worried is the government about what could come out of these hearings which will go on about another hour and a half. they are liberated. until now they had to worry about their careers. now they don't. that is dangerous for david cameron because they may feel where they canum say what they feel. the his is over links with staff. >> yes, he says there is a double standard that he had to go over his links with news international yet david cameron hasn't yet apologized to the british public for hiring a former news editor of the news of the world. >> thanks.
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that apology is what is being demanded. it is his word saying the politics of this and hasn't done terribly well in opinion polls released today so we are not clear how much of this is resonating with the public. we will go live now inside the committee room. we saw this committee meeting last week and they were criticized for grandstanding. they will be keen to ask more sober forensic questions. >> that's correct. questioning at parliamentary committee in the u.k. is not really like on capitol hill and on the other hand many of them have made their mark by keeping going on this scandal, keeping ferreting away and asking difficult questions. >> the metropolitan police p.r. chief is also going to be investigated by the police.
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how significant is that? >> it goes back to what the metropolitan police were doing when they employed a former news of the world journalist to help them with their media consultancy work. so it is a big question. that is why the new body has been brought in to look at what again to. >> what would you say the questi questions are to be posed for the three members of the met? >> it still goes back to why the case wasn't reopened in 2009. that was the decision of john yates. he now says he regrets that. >> they are just sitting down in the committee. john yates could take a few hours for the evidence. >> sir paul, you are still the commissioner of metropolitan police. is >> that is my understanding. >> excellent. f particular for the purposes of this session could i declare that i met you and we were both
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guests at the police bravery awards which was hosted by the police federation and sponsored by the sun? that i and you both know the own i was invited to the news international summer party recently but i did not attend. are there any other interests that members need to declare directly or indirectly? >> [inaudible] is the chief executive of the northwest police authority. >> thank you very much. >> sir paul, thank you for coming. can i place my appreciation to you, i know these are difficult times but when i spoke to you last thursday and invited you to come and attend this committee meeting you did so readily agreeing at the time immediately. you did say to me that as events
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progressed you would have to make a statement during that time. but i appreciate the fact that you have always come to parliament first and been prepared to answer questions of members of this house and specifically members of this committee. can you tell the committee why you resigned, bearing in mind -- and we have read your statement carefully -- this is no i'm in your words as to what has happened and you feel you have done absolutely nothing wrong, that you have had no direct involvement as far as the two investigations are concerned, and the wuone reviewf the investigation, but you felt that you should resign. why did you do so? well, you say -- and i'm quite sure you have read my statement or heard it. i think i was quite explicit in that. i think i was very clear. when i took this post i made it very clear that i would never
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willingly allow this to be about me the leader as opposed to what the people work for me, what they do. i was always very clear about that. i saw the consequence of that previously, the destruction it can cost and i think that is wrong and i would always be looking to that. that is the first thing. and i pleaded there were significant stories about me. in the context of the job i do, i might have considered it for a longer. but i think we are in extraordinary times. we are in the home year the. until theshort period olympics. a very to me and it is difficult position but up to the olympics if there are going it be continued speculation on the position of the commissioner and stories continue to distract if i was going it do something i had to do it speedily. in the words of william shakespeare it has to be done quickly because i have to take a
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decision on behalf of the organization to allow the relevant authorities, if they are going to put somebody else in place in time, to have a firm helm and lead the met through its biggest challenges. it is regrettable but i think i have to do that. >> we will come to explore the issue of your relationship with mr. wallace and why you employed him and we have other witnesses later and we could concentrate further on the resignation. when i spoke to you about 6:00 thursday resignation did not seem in your mind. you had met the mayor. spoken, i assume, to the home secretary. they did not give you the support to stay on following that conversation with them? because you didn't sound as if you were in resignation mood when you spoke to me. when did you make up your mind that you had to go? >> well, i think there was much
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speculation around whether i was supported. i would have to say i received full support of the home secretary, mayor prime minister and i have seen them since my resignation. i guess i became much clearer when i was contacted saturday about the story, for which i'm not apologizing by the way at all. but when i became aware that mr. wallace -- and i know you understand this, chair -- remind everyone that mr. wallace has been arrested and bailed. i should say nothing to prejudice his rights. but when i became aware that mr. wallace was somewhere connected i felt that was a very difficult story. i think it was very up fortunate. i had no knowledge previously and i think that together with everything else i felt this is going to be a significant story, it is going to come to you and if i'm going to do the right thing by my organization i have
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to do something. >> but as far as you are concerned and nobody asked you to go, you made this decision the mayor nor er home secretary nor prime minister felt your position was untenable. you told this committee now they give you support for the work you were doing. is that right? >> that is absolutely right. when did i speak to the home secretary and the mayor, the phaemayor accepted it very reluctantly, he thought it was wrong. he said that to me again the following day. the home secretary was shocked and sadden and stated she regretted my decision. it feels 43 decision and my decision only, chair. if i may say so, it was against the advice of many, many colleagues. and indeed my wife. >> did any of them say please don't go, please stay, you have more work to do? >> that was the implication that i took from the response of
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the mayor. i would describe him without being overly emotional, he was emotional. he was very cross. he didn't want it to happen. he made it very clear he thought it was wrong. >> we will continue on this for colleagues to ask questions. can i deal with the issue of one or two lines that you put in your resignation statement concerning the kpaerpb between mr. wallace and mr. colson in respect of your employment of mr. wallace. with mr. fidaucio later. but you make reference between what you did and the employment of mr. confidential s-- colson y the prime minister and it seemed that you may have been taking a bit of a swipe of the prime minister bigger in mind that you said that the prime minister has
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employed somebody who had resigned but mr. wallace had not resigned as a result of the news of the world. this excited a lot of comment that here you were resigning and there was the prime minister just carrying on. were you upset at the fact that you were treated differently or appeared to have been treated differently? >> church, we always look at the world where the media speculate and interpret. i was taking no such swipe at the prime minister. i was trying to make something absolutely clear. and that was that i do agree with the prime minister when he says this was entirely different. of course the employment of mr. colson and employment by the met of mr. wallace was spweurl different. can i correct an knainaccuracy here. mr. wallace was never employed to be my perform assistant or provide personal advice to me. i know well get into this later.
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he was employed to provide advice to the give phme advice. very part-time-mile-per-hour role. that is with respect reason it was different from mr. colson. what was trying to get across is this. when mr. colson resign ed, and t that time he said he resigned to do the honorable thing and, if you will, be the leader and take responsibili responsibility. by definition he associated his name with the obvious. trying to draw the contrast that i have no reason to doubt mr. wallace's integrity. i have no reason to link it with hacking. i have no reason -- i will come to this -- in january of 2011 when i first saw his name with hacking. is the difference.
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i meant to impugn the prime minister none but i was trying to give an example that mr. wallace's name never, ever came into hacking. it was never a consideration. >> we will come to your relationship with mr. wallace, but if we can concentrate on your resignation statement and we will come to the rig with mr. wallace. >> many of the public feel that people in senior positions rarely take responsibility by resigning and we welcome your having done so. concerned that that may have been undermined by what is being widely interpreted as a personal attack on the prime minister? >> all i can do is tell the truth. i told the truth in my statement to the best of my ability. i cannot, as is plainly obvious, criminal the way media spin things or interpret things. i'm just saying i made no
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personal attack on the prime minister. >> that is how i interpreted your statement. sn't one rather significant difference is that you as commissioner of the metropolitan police should have opinion responsible for leading the criminal investigation? personally i would have to remind you of the evidence that was presented to the committee. he tries to describe the work of the commissioner. if i might do that, that mate put in context your question. we receive six million calls a year. we deal with over 800,000 crimes every year. i manage risk and i look to the things that are most risky. i don't investigate crime but i do make inquiry at high risk. when i took office as commissioner i did ask for a detailed briefing on the night stalker, the hideous crimes that might have been committing, elderly people and had gone many
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years and stained our professional reputation and therefore i wanted a detailed briefi briefing. i did ask and continue to ask for detailed breakfastings on the murder of steven hrarpbs pwaupbs we didn't have an answer put in place briefings on correspondent terrorism. i never one moment asked a question about phone hacking. i had no reason to suspect it was not a successful operation, i had no reason it was not finished. but sticking with resignation for a moment, a lot of other people did ask that question and i performly would like to pay credit to the guard i don't know newspaper for the role it played as well as a -- >> in my resignation. >> also in your resignation speech you at least implied that the prime minister was in some way compromised and you couldn't share what you were suggesting
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with them. isn't it also the case that you didn't disclose the appointment of this consultant previously public or to liberal ministers? >> i certainly didn't imply the prime minister was involved at all. why did i not tell the prime minister before colson's name was connected -- not colson's name -- before wallace's name was connected to the hacking? i had no reason to contact wallace with phone hacking. i had no reason to doubt his impropriety. i had no knowledge of the inquiry and i had no reason to inquire and i had been given assurances by a senior constable that there was nothing new. so i had no reason to disclose a contract that was part-time of somebody working with my d.p.a. giving me occasional advice.
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i had no reason to disclose that. when he did become a name, all i was saying in my resignation spaoefpd it seemed to be eminently sensible not to impugn the character of the prime minister but try to consider is it right to allow anyone to ask any questions and answer because i had given him operational information that someone could suggest that because of his with colson and colson's relation with wallace that somehow that could offer up a charge of impropriety. her.nk it is very relevant my understanding is that it was exactly the advice of a senior official so we don't compromise the prime minister. that is my understanding. mr. yates might be able to answer that later on. my understanding is, and i think it is a very sensible position a senior official in thumb 10 guided us that actually we should not compromise the prime minister and it seems to me
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entirely sensible. >> were you not informed and tell the mayor before mr. grenade was arrested that he was going to be arrested? he not compromised bearing in mind that he knew mr. green and he then spoke to you and the opposition about it? how could you have done it in that case but not this? >> i think there are a couple of obvious differences. i might have told the mayor but not the prime minister and secondly quite frankly it had always been my practice that when something very significant is going to happen, at the time it is going to happen to cite the police authority which the mayor was at that time so they are not taken by surprise on reporters.step by he certainly didn't tell him way in advance. i work very hard not to compromise anyone. and if i may say so i make sure my people do not compromise me. with regard to wallace, because there was this issue of light contact, i made sure they told
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me i need to know. it was only seven weeks ago that i became aware that wallace was a suspect. it was only early last week i was told he may be arrested and it was only thursday morning i was told he has been arrested that day. >> i thought you said that the operation was happening in a box, that you were not being kept informed of what was happeni happening. when you were here two weeks ago you said these are questions to be asked of sue ache erlgs. >> yes. >> are you being kept informed by sue akers of who is going to be arrested? >> she would inform me of key and she told me he became a suspect. >> so on sunday you knew rebekah to be arrested before she was arrested? >> yes. >> how long before? >> maybe a day, maybe two days. >> two days before? can't remember. a day or two days. and that is entirely proper. >> i see.
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can we stick to resignation? >> sir paul, you didn't. you could tell the home secretary? >> well, i was simply trying to ensure -- i'm very aware of the political exchanges with mr. colson. hy would i want to risk anyone being accused of any compromise? i would not suggest for one moment that the home secretary or prime minister would say anything. but why would i risk that compromise? my understanding is that was the advice in senior official in number 10 and we would agree with that. it is very sensible not to kproe people and lead people to a suggestion of compromise. >> feels it not a question of keeping it secret from the home secretary and prime minister. as commissioner of the
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metropolitan police with great responsibilities you have had to tell home secretaries and prime ministers a lot of very unpleasant things over many years. why is it that this was a matter which you felt was something that you couldn't disclose? this has been interpreted negatively. >> i am fully aware if has been interpreted negatively. but let me remind you prior to williams becoming a name in connection with hacking, the first, to my knowledge, that i ever heard his name with hacking was january of 2011. i never heard him connected at all before, publicly. >> you have made that point. we will come to mr. wallace. we are on your resignation at the moment. >> i think it is relevant. mr. wallace is about the contract. prior to that, i had absolutely no reason nor concern. so why would i raise with anyone a very minor contract?
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i don't raise any or contracts. i had no concern about mr. wallace. when the difficulty became a concern why would i compromise or allow the prime minister any suggestion of compromise even though i do not one minute think involved. >> but news international was being investigated by the management police at that time, were they not? >> which time? >> at the time of mr. wallace's hiri hiring. >> no. there was no investigation. >> the difference is that you were investigating news international were you not? >> we started investigating news international in january of 2011. the first investigation started, i think, in december 2005 and of 2007.uary >> do you think you should have
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been alerted sooner about the conflict concerning mr. wallace? and, if you do, who would have sheared that with you? and, if you do, who would have sheared that with you? >> >> funding was made possible by the freeman foundation of new york, stowe, vermont, and honolulu. the newman's own foundation. and union bank.
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union bankas put its global financial strength to work for a wide range of companies. what can we do for you? >> bbc world news wse presented by kcet los angeles.
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